The Duology

Fiction - Science Fiction
697 Pages
Reviewed on 11/30/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Synarchy: The Duology by Crystal Storm is a genre-bending science fiction thriller and a combination of two books in the titular series with book one, The Awakening, leading the charge, and book two taking the flaming baton in The Ascension. This is a pairing with an incredible amount going on, so bear with me while I try to break it down simply. Marcello Terenzio, the patriarch of a crime family who makes the Corleones look like a bunch of aimless zooplankton, is gone. Morto. Caput. The legacy of his offspring is now in on the walloping battlefield spanning many lifetimes and dimensions, with players and counter-players and aliens. Like most families, the Terenzios fight. Unlike most families, the Terenzios kill each other through ways and means that ripple through the universe, while the ones we actually want to live are also required to hunt down and fight the alien godfather of all things horrible wrapped up in one, the Anunnaki and The Brotherhood. The triple-progeny of the Terenzios have to find and stop this mess in order to save the world.

Do you need a break? Not now. This is important.

The Awakening is the fast-paced but still somehow simmering build-up to The Ascension. There is a ton of shifts between time and characters and places and ideas, and even Loki has a cameo. The multiple points of view transition within a few heartbeats of each other and, at first, it felt like I'd met my Everest in Synarchy and my Sherpa, author Crystal Storm, is kind of mean. Then, it all started to click together and I realized Storm is not the Sherpa, but the keyholder for the entire Mahalangur Himal. It's genius. By the time I was in The Ascension, my marathon kicks were off and my gold sprinting spikes were on. I felt the scientific and problem-solving aspects in the second half of the series was stronger and because I understood the family dysfunction, dynamics, dysfunction, love, dysfunction, ride-or-die, and dysfunction that was highlighted in the first half, I could focus more on the “what are they going to do to save us” over the “what are they going to do to save themselves from each other”. The Brotherhood, Anunnaki, and the rulers of all rulers are exceptionally well-crafted adversaries and, really, they are worthy of a spin-off prequel of their own. I'm grateful the two books came to me at the same time because I'm not so sure I'd have walked away feeling good about myself without some loose Awakening strings being ties in Ascension. But we are here now and, given the opportunity, I think readers looking for a thorough bit of sci-fi fantasy will love this.

Jamie Michele

Triplets Lucien, Vasco, and Simone are unsure of what their dying grandfather, mob boss Marcello Terenzio, could want from them when their grandfather summons them to his deathbed in the science fiction drama Synarchy: The Duology by Crystal Storm. Instead of being 'told,' the triplets 'remember.' In a flood of memories, each sees life through the eyes of another in their family history; their history, reincarnated lifetimes over, and fighting battles on multiple fronts. Family members jostle for power and traitors mean nobody can be trusted, and both sides of good and evil have infiltrators. At the foundation of every struggle are the Anunnaki aliens that are worshipped by The Brotherhood, who have enslaved humanity. The triplets know they must destroy the aliens before all is lost in the world as they know it. “My, my, when you said controlling the world, you weren’t kidding.”

Crystal Storm tells the Synarchy story in two parts to make it The Duology. The Awakening and The Ascension as the first and second titles are justified in what the sections hold. There are combinations of the old religions and myths and the new, and these are mixed in an new three-dimensional light as we, alongside the triplets, discover an existence where archangel and angel prophets from the Old Testament are just as likely to be encountered as an alien or a Norse god. The exploration of Tantra, Mayan prophecies, and the biological science that connects mind, body, and soul elevate when Storm is able to tie them together into The Akashic Records, which contain every thought, feeling, and intent of every human. I found the binding of all things to The Source angle to be enlightening where other science fiction books not may have gotten me there. There is a maturation in the writing that happens as the book progresses. Well done and recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

Synarchy: The Duology by Crystal Storm is a collection of two full novels: The Awakening and The Ascension. The story follows the Terenzio triplets who learn secrets they never expected. When their grandfather, the head of the Terenzio mafia family, calls Simone, Vasco, and Lucien to share a deadly secret, they have no idea what they should do. With their grandfather dying, they are perhaps the only ones who know about the Anunnaki and the secret political clique that only serves the Anunnaki. The Anunnaki are aliens, they are dangerous, and human beings are almost running out of time. With the winter solstice very near, it is now or never for humanity. With the help of the Terenzio triplets, the humans will either be liberated or they will remain enslaved to the Anunnaki forever. Can Lucien, Vasco, and Simone get the job done in time?

An absolute thriller, Synarchy: The Duology by Crystal Storm had me sitting on the edge of my seat and holding my breath. While the main genre of this novel is science fiction, the story has a very satisfying mix of action, adventure, and a little bit of thriller to make the story interesting for all types of readers. Out of the three brothers, Simone is my favorite. He is more rational and a little creative in his approach to danger. Vasco is almost too aggressive at times (which is perfect for the story), and Lucien is the voice of reason they need to do better. I absolutely loved how the story opened with Marcello and ended with Vasco. The ending is bittersweet and makes you want to cry. The dialogues are powerful enough to keep readers entertained, and the flow of the story is perfect. This book was a pleasure to read!

K.C. Finn

Synarchy: The Duology is a work of fiction in the science fiction, action, and adventure subgenres. It was written for the mature adult reading audience by author Crystal Storm, and contains the use of explicit language throughout as well as scenes of violence and sexual situations. Containing both novels of the Synarchy series - The Awakening and The Ascension – this epic work presents a fantastic space mafia crossover with tons of intrigue, mystery, and action. Triplets Vasco, Simone, and Lucien are in for the surprise of a lifetime when they are called to the deathbed of their grandfather, a prominent mafia figure. The revelation that Earth is secretly run by a cabal from an alien race, the Anunnaki, is one thing, but it’s quite another to expect the Terenzio triplets to find the strength to save all of humanity. Can they get their act together in time to succeed?

Author Crystal Storm has crafted something truly unique in this fantastic mash-up of mafia drama and alien oppression. It is a strange alliance of genres that melds well into an all-out action story, showcasing the unique talents of the triplets as they explore new concepts and have to piece the right information together in order to halt the alien threat. The metaphysical aspects of the story blend well into the contemporary world to make the whole conspiracy highly believable, which makes for even more exciting reading as the plot deepens and twists from one novel into the next. Storm’s flair for the dramatic is exercised wonderfully in both dialogue and prose, from the sharp wit and non-nonsense mafioso archetypes through to the serene and eerie descriptions of the Anunnaki themselves. What results is a superb adventure like nothing I have ever read before, one you could get lost in for days on end quite happily. Overall, I would certainly recommend Synarchy: The Duology for science fiction and thriller fans seeking something totally new and original.